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Infographic: Should You Rent or Buy a Home?

It depends on where you live. In Phoenix? Maybe think about buying.


What's the better deal: Buying a home or renting one? The real estate website Trulia gets to the heart of the matter with an interactive infographic that shows you which parts of the country have better markets for home buyers (Jacksonville, Phoenix) and which metropolitan areas favor renting (Los Angeles, New York).

The premium we Americans have put on home ownership almost certainly contributed to our current financial crisis, and the myth that you need to own a home to be happy is one that ought to be busted. That said, home ownership seems pretty attainable for people with stable jobs in a few parts of the country.

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Another Way to Find Out How Many Homeless Are in Your Town

An interactive multi-year map of regional homeless populations shows you how many are on your streets and how that's changed since 2005.

A sharp reader sent along this interactive multi-year map of regional homeless populations built by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

As we pointed out earlier this week, the first step to helping those without shelter is to census them accurately. Municipalities across the country are undertaking these counts this month as mandated by HUD and they need your help.

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A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses, in Photos

In A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses, Anne Trubek visits homes of greats from Poe to Twain to Hemingway, and the past smashes into the present.

Writers’ house museums allow visitors to toggle between past and present in wonderful, confusing, dissonant ways. That’s one topic I take up in my book, A Skeptic’s Guide To Writers’ Houses. In this photo essay, I juxtapose text and image to capture the experience of past smashing into present I had while visiting several writers’ houses-turned-museums.

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Catie Newell's Salvaged Landscape: An Arsoned Detroit House Becomes Public Art

Catie Newell and The Imagination Station turn a blighted block in Detroit into an art-focused community center.

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The Imagination Station is a Detroit nonprofit working to cleanup Detroit. One of its first activities is to demolish and renovate two houses in the Corktown neighborhood. One of the houses will be the site of a new community center. The other—which was badly burned by arson—will become a public art space. Check out the impressive work to salvage materials from the fire-wreckage by Catie Newell.

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This Hyper-Efficient "Passive House" Needs No Furnace, Even in Frigid Vermont

It's possible to build a house that doesn't need any source of heat besides the sun and the warm bodies inside. Even in frigid Vermont.

Barbara and Steven Landau are building a house in Vermont—a handsome, three-bedroom, timber-framed 2,000-square-foot house—with neither a furnace nor any heat source. Again, this is in Vermont, where winters are long, dark, and frigid. The New York Times has their story, and this great video of the Landau's house under construction.

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